Mat Latos has been considered the likely favorite to start the Wild Card play-in game against the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday, but Reds manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer after today’s game that Johnny Cueto will get the call.
Latos probably would have been the choice if he was 100 percent, but Baker said that his arm is “barking” right now. The good news is that Cueto has been solid since returning from his lat strain, allowing two runs (one earned) over 12 innings while striking out 10 batters and walking four.
Cueto will be opposed by Francisco Liriano, who has a 1.47 ERA in 11 starts at home this season.
Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.
Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.
Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.